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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2008 2:29 am    Post subject: Custom made twin-blades Realistic Sparring Weapons         Reply with quote

Many had asked us about the possibilities of making such a unique piece before but none pursued the design afterwards. Eventually someone has realized his plan. It was 190cm overall length, 4 lbs in weight, balanced at the center. It was made for a local customer (not the guy in the photo). I wonder how the customer is going to wield it in sparring. :P


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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd use it like a staff or poleaxe. Should be reasonable effective. The middle grip can be deadly up close.
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Ben C.





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PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2008 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
I'd use it like a staff or poleaxe. Should be reasonable effective. The middle grip can be deadly up close.


In my own opinion I don't think it would be effective at all. The problem is that taking into account the overall length of the weapon, you would be holding a staff or poleaxe roughly where the 2nd blade is. The 2nd blade is only going to get in your way while trying to swing with the first (thus reducing the amount of attacks available to you) and you run a real risk of cutting or stabbing yourself. In addition your overall reach is going to be the same or less than a regular longsword. The only way I could see a weapon like that being reasonably effective would be to reduce the length of the 2nd blade down to roughly dagger length and increasing the handle length accordingly so it would be more like a glaive or naginata
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Dan P




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

4 pounds seems light for a "real" live steel weapon like that. I think that, for me, it would be a little unwieldy with the grip limited to the very middle of the weapon. I would drastically shorten both of the blades and elongate the handle, thus giving a wider range of grip positions. This would allow better reach, handle faster, and be less of a hazard to one's own limbs. More like a two-ended spear than a two-bladed sword. Actually, I'd just rather have a one-ended spear of the same length.

Of course, if it works for the person who wanted it, how can it be wrong? Its a nice show of what kinds of things can be made by RSW.

On a lighter note, I know if I were trying to use that weapon, I'd go for a parry and totally whack my crotch with one of the crossguards...
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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The problem is that taking into account the overall length of the weapon, you would be holding a staff or poleaxe roughly where the 2nd blade is.


Not using the middle grip. This may, in fact, be the most common pollaxe grip. A third in front, a third between the hands, a third behind. Believe me, this still allow for powerful blows. Now, only a few historical staff sources suggest the middle grip. But Christian Egenolph does, so it's a valid martial technique. If nothing else, use Thomas McCarthy's system. Not indeed for real combat, but quite functional.

Quote:
Actually, I'd just rather have a one-ended spear of the same length.


No doubt, though I think any spear should have a butt spike. Anyways, remember that the spear being better doesn't make this RSW bad. Personally, I would be most worried about the crosses. They look as if they could get in the way.
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Joshua Connolly




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now that I think about it, and now that we're on the issue of double sided swords, what if the 'second' blade were more like a glorified butt-spike? Shorter than the first blade, but perhaps sharpened and more sword-like than spike-like to facilitate stabbing and limited cutting?
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Sam N.




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2008 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, with a blade configuration like that and crossguards, I actually see it as being reasonably effective if used like a less protective version of a dueling shield...

Anyone who actually knows anything about how to use a dueling shield care to comment?
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Joshua Connolly




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 5:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I remember correctly, I think the dueling shields had longer handles than this does. I'd imagine this would change the dynamic of the weapon. Although I could just be crazy! Razz
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

just speculating, but the main advantage to a weapon of this type would seem to be the ability to attack from two different directions in quick succession. there is also sort of a distraction factor in that - if you were facing someone wielding this you would need to be mindful of both blades simultaneously. yet, i have doubts that as a martial practice, this would in the end be more effective than simply learning to use two swords simultaneously. i dunno, thanks for sharing! now you have to make us a vid of someone sparring with it! tr
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know the customer plans on trapping the opponent's attack with the guard and then attack with the other blade. Another point is that with the long hilt, he can perform some spear thrusts with it, though the reach would not be very long. I'm not sure he can pull this off successfully or not, though. The video may very well feature a one-sided sparring... :P

Thom R. wrote:
just speculating, but the main advantage to a weapon of this type would seem to be the ability to attack from two different directions in quick succession. there is also sort of a distraction factor in that - if you were facing someone wielding this you would need to be mindful of both blades simultaneously. yet, i have doubts that as a martial practice, this would in the end be more effective than simply learning to use two swords simultaneously. i dunno, thanks for sharing! now you have to make us a vid of someone sparring with it! tr

Ancient Combat Association http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Even if I'm sceptical, but curious, about how useful or rather how limited it might be it would be nice to see what an improvised fight with it would look like in the hands of someone competent with longsword and competent with staff fighting. Idea Wink

Seems to me that it would fight like a staff but be too short to get a range advantage on a longsword and with the " theoretically " sharp ends on both sides the number of techniques would be restricted ?

On the other hand half swording does use the hand on the bladed part of a sword i.e. sharp or semi sharp depending on sword type ? The use of good gloves or gauntlets might safely permit a more staff like use with less restrictions on where the hands can be used effectively ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Exactly, it is most like fighting with a staff I would imagine except you are limited on where you can grip the weapon (in and around the center and pob), yet it has the advantage of being bladed. there are plenty of eastern (and western) martial traditions on the staff, including chinese. can't wait for the you-tube! Cool , thom
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The video may very well feature a one-sided sparring...


Again a one-handed sword, I'd say it should favor the custom RSW. (That going by Silver's general rules for the advantages of weapons.) I think defending against the double sword up close would be almost impossible. For example, say he makes a blow from above. If you parry, you'll get the back blade in your chest. (As in Mair's play between the dussack and halberd.) By the same token, the double sword's lack of reach would make him less safe than a spear wielder would be. If I were using a one-handed sword against this RSW, I'd try to keep my distance and snipe at his fingers. (That's Swetnam's advice on how to beat the middle grip when it's staff against staff.)
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Sep, 2008 3:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=GkcQbhWoR6k

Here is the highlight video of the owner sparring with this weapon for the first time. I put up his successful efforts as examples of how he planned to use this stuff. Happy

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Sam N.




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Sep, 2008 5:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shame he didn't try his double-sword against a weapon of equal length. That would have been far more telling of what his weapon is capable of.

I remember back when I used boffers (just as I was discovering WMA) I went against one kid who used a boffer similar to this one, but without crossguards. During the first couple matches I was using a katana boffer (30" blade, 10" handle) and I found that it was very hard to defeat this weapon. However, when a started using a boffer around the length of a short two-hander (38" blade, 12" handle, about the same overall length as his double-sword), I found that he was quite easy to defeat due to my range and mobility advantage. I was able to attack more easily at more angles then he could.

I think this is the main reason we don't find many (any?) historical weapons like this, because a weapon of equal length and weight but with one long blade rather then two short ones is simply far more practical.

But regardless, it was very interesting watching those matches.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Sep, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, that's about how I would use the weapon. I even saw poleaxe guards and techniques! With the middle grip on any staff weapon, you can defend with one end and remain ready to attack with the other. That seemed to be his basic tactic in the video. As a side note, I'm amazed by how fast those bouts ended. I guess I'm used to somewhat more caution.

Quote:
I think this is the main reason we don't find many (any?) historical weapons like this, because a weapon of equal length and weight but with one long blade rather then two short ones is simply far more practical.


I agree. Putting two blades on a hafted weapon doesn't seem to have been worth the trouble. Butt spikes, on the other hand, appear to have been standard. They're at least highly recommended by various masters.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If there's anything that my inexperienced eyes could spot in that video, it's that the guy with the two-bladed weapon mostly used only one blade to win his bouts. I could count only one or two instances where he actually spun the weapon to use both blades. So, on the whole, the weapon is probably not the efficient self-mutilation machine I had expected it to be, but one of its blades is effectively wasted. In a real steel weapon that'd be some one or one-and-a-half pounds of steel where a much lighter pommel would have done the job just as well--not to mention that a double-bladed sword like that would lose the primary advantage of a sword, which is the facility of being carried sheathed without bothering the wearer too much!
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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I could count only one or two instances where he actually spun the weapon to use both blades.


I count around six instances in which he used both blades. In the other cases, though, it's not fair to assume the second blade useless. It covered him from attack. His opponents surely noticed its presence and reacted accordingly.

Quote:
So, on the whole, the weapon is probably not the efficient self-mutilation machine I had expected it to be, but one of its blades is effectively wasted.


Why would it be a self-mutilation machine? I've never understood this view. Why would putting blades on a staff suddenly make it deadly to the wielder? Do folks using a staff in middle grip routinely strike themselves? I don't think so. Look, I prefer historically accurate weapons as much as the next guy. This preference shouldn't cause us to make excessive claims about modern designs.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While any version of a sword will work some of the time, the question is if is notably more efficinent than the alternatives.

Which would in this case would mainly be the Partizan. Would two sword blades on a stick, totaling 190cm, be better than ONE, at a similar length.
I would be partial to say no. While the double sword has more or less the same range as a longsword, the partizan offers significantly longer range, and greater versitality.
The partizan does not have a blade at the back, a blow with the shaft will also hurt plenty enough to bring about the end of the fight.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sure. I agree that a historical polearm, particularly one with a rear spike, would be more effective. But that's a rather different claim. When faced with new design, historical martial artists too often dismiss it as completely useless.

By the way, this sort of thing might have some historical basis in Chinese weapons. For example, consider Heaven-Earth Sun-Moon Saber:

http://books.google.com/books?id=SBENHIwJshMC...t#PPA47,M1
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